Employer engagement in schools and directly with young people is an important part of ensuring that young people receive the inspiration and access to networks they require to make informed choices.
We caught up with Ruth Forster from Wagstaff Recruitment. Wagstaff Recruitment is based in Staffordshire employs 8 staff and has been supporting Chase Technology College for 4 years after getting involved through the Southern Staffordshire Employment and Skills Board
What types of events and activities do you support the school with?
We run assemblies, Dragon’s Den activities, careers interviews and careers fairs.
How much time does this take up?
Approximately 20 hours per year
What value do you believe your involvement with the school brings to students?
The time we spend there gives students an opportunity to engage with adults from a business environment. It exposes them to different scenarios and expands their communication from potentially just the parent and teacher relationships.
What value does working with the school and students bring to your business?
Spending time with students keeps us informed on how the next generation think, their opinions and their drivers for the future.
Is there a moment or story that sticks in your mind which shows just why it’s crucial for our business community should support their local schools?
After my last school assembly where I talked about how to be the best you can be, talked through personal brand and then shared my personal careers journey. I was given the following feedback from the Head of Careers:
Julie Poppleton asked this specific pupil in his careers meeting what his thoughts were on what GCSE choices he may make, he responded “I think I may now take Business Studies” Julie asked “ Why?” the response was “ Well, after hearing the lady speak this morning, I may look at starting my own business one day”
Goose bump moment for me, I felt proud that I had had a positive impact and offered inspiration. This is why I personally do this.
Would you have any tips for other businesses who are thinking about getting involved with their local school?
We have a massive skills gap, across every sector, it is our duty, as adults to showcase the opportunities out there and inspire the next generation. You may get personal gains for your business but if you don’t, shouldn’t we all be trying to inspire the next generation into how fab the world of work is?